About Viv and Herman Cohen

Herman Cohen, 1905–1997, and Aveve Brown Cohen, 1909–2001, founders and proprietors of Chiswick Book Shop, publishers.

Chiswick Keepsake
Keepsake for the fiftieth aniversary of Chiswick Book Shop. Among those pictured: Bob Jones, Motoko Inoue, Jerry Kelly, Lili and Erich Wronker, Ismar David, John Dreyfus, John Depol, Jack Gulden, Joe Blumenthal, Stephen Harvard, and Viv and Herman Cohen and their family.

Aveve Brown first met Herman Cohen on a ship returning from Europe when she was fourteen years old. Family lore has it that it was practically love at first sight.1Matz, Jenni, ed. Reminiscences and Remembrances of Herman and Aveve Cohen and the Chiswick Bookshop (1935-2001). New York: The Typophiles, 2002, p. 7. Six years later, they married. After gaining experience working for a variety of book sellers, they opened their first shop on West 51st Street in Manhattan in 1935 and, due their own initiative, enthusiasm and audacity, and a bit of luck, it was a success. The shop moved several times through its over 65 years in business, but wherever it was located, it was a center of conviviality and support for artists and admirers of fine printing. Herman was active in antiquarian bookseller organizations, as well as being a member of AIGA. They were great friends of John Fass and early promoters of his Hammer Creek Press publications, which they offered in their catalogues.

They published four books: Aldus Manutius and the Development of Greek Script and Type in the Fifteenth Century, by Nicholas Barker (1985), The Making of the Book of Common Prayer of 1928, by Martin Hutner (1990), John S. Fass and the Hammer Creek Press (1997) and The Book of Jonah, designed and illustrated by Ismar David.

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